Corporate Leadership Profile | Wunderman

Wunderman and KBM Group, part of the Wunderman network
Corporate Profile Response to Marketing EDGE
Q  Forbes Contributing Editor George Bradt was quoted in the January 7, 2015 issue: “There has been a seismic shift in the war for talent.  Those that don’t understand that shift and change their approach to talent management are going to fall into a newly opened crevasse from which they may never escape.”   Would you speak to the realities of Mr. Bradt’s prediction and the urgency with which he encourages those in business to change their course?
A  Marketing today is a data-driven business.  In fact, every business today is data driven and increasingly so, as we are on the cusp of the next technology revolution, which is the Internet of Things.  As a result, marketers must hire human resource talent that is conversant with data and analytics, as well as with the technology that goes along with the digital world that we’re doing business in.   The shift in the war for talent is toward expertise in data, analytics, digital – which encompasses social and mobile – as well as the role and workings of software such as apps.  In the fast-moving, technology-propelled world of marketing, if you’re not ahead of these changes, you are behind and may never catch up – such is the pace of change.  Therefore, we believe it is absolutely mission critical to recruit and retain leading-edge talent to maintain competitive advantage and to ensure our clients stay at the forefront of the marketing state-of-the-art.
Q  Marketing EDGE’s Corporate Leadership Program (CLP) was introduced this year.  Wunderman/KBMG is one of the lead sponsors in a completely new mission-driven approach to engaging our corporate partners.  What are the most significant ways that the CLP can fit into the overall college recruiting strategy at W/KBMG?
A  The CLP figures into our college recruiting strategy in several ways.  Overall, our participation in such a structured partnership program keeps the college recruitment process front-and-center, helping as a strategic course-setter and guardrail.  Specifically, being a sponsor gives us access to and a chance to participate in the Student Career Forums and Collegiate Summits that Marketing EDGE organizes several times a year.  These serve as excellent opportunities to observe and get to know students and recent graduates from around the country.  In some of these settings, we get to know them through their questions and roundtables, noting those who seem to be exceptional and we also have the opportunity to influence their thinking about and consideration of careers in data-driven, insight-driven marketing.
Q  What are your expectations of this sponsorship?  How can we at Marketing EDGE ensure your vision and expectations are realized, both for your organization and the industry?
A  We have been long-time supporters of the Marketing EDGE and have been very involved in a number of ways, from hosting workshops such as the newly-rebranded Collegiate Summit:  Analytics (formerly IMAX) to our CEO being on the Board including a two-year term as Chair.  However, as a sponsor in this inaugural year of the Corporate Leadership Program, we are experiencing an even closer partnership, marked by a formalized process for the give and take of ideas, involvement and feedback.  Thanks to the sponsorship, our partnership is yielding new benefits, such as closer coordination for getting to better know students who participate in Marketing EDGE events and more participation among our own executives to help guide students in considering careers in marketing.  We expect that this, as well as access to the academic community preparing future marketers, will help us recruit the kind of talent we must have to remain on the cutting edge of data-driven marketing, will give us insights into the Millennials entering the workforce as well as a head start in understanding and recruiting the up-and-coming Centennials so we can better retain them, and steer promising talent toward a career in marketing to help develop the resources that our industry sorely needs.
Q  Why Marketing EDGE?   For as far back as our records indicate, W/KBMG has been a strong supporter of Marketing EDGE.  Would you articulate why you work with us in such a deep committed way?
A  There are several reasons.  First, Marketing EDGE is rooted in the direct marketing industry.  Marketing EDGE knows the industry’s history, evolution and current challenges like no other organization.  Second, the organization’s mission is education.  It is devoted to working with students, academics, career specialists and companies such as our own to develop the next generation of marketers.  Third, developing the next generation of marketers is more critical than ever because change in marketing has accelerated, driven by the rocketing pace of new technologies.   More than ever, we need to refresh and update skills through the new generation of hires that have cut their teeth on digital, social, mobile.  Lastly, as a pioneer and leader in direct and data-driven marketing, we believe that active involvement is a responsibility.   Participation in our professional community with an eye toward the future ensures that marketing stays relevant and robust.